Two of the most popular race series this past year have been Spartan Race vs Savage Race. Now that Spartan bought Warrior Dash and Tough Mudder, Spartan and Savage are the last two big race series in the US. Savage Race has exploded in recent years and is a fan favorite among OCR circles, while Spartan Race has always held a special place as one of the first and truly global OCR race series. As 2020 is loading up for race openings, we wanted to profile these OCR giants and let you know what you can expect in both Spartan Race vs Savage Race.
Spartan Race Distances
When signing up for Spartan Race, be sure to know what each distance entails. There have been many times “fit” men and women assume they can take on the challenge of a Spartan Race Beast, only to be humbled by the sheer volume of it by the middle of the race. There are four distances with increasing amounts of obstacles at each distance.
- Sprint: 3-5 miles, 20 obstacles
- Super: 8-10 miles, 25+ obstacles
- Beast: 12-15 miles, 30+ obstacles
- Ultra Beast: 26+ miles, 60+ obstacles
Savage Race Distances
Savage Race promotes itself as “The Best Obstacles. The Perfect Distance.” In 2018, Savage Race added a second distance to its original 5-7 mile race. The Savage Race Blitz is a shorter version of the main race – usually 3-4 miles – and is more obstacle-dense that the longer race. The Savage Race Blitz is a great way for anyone to try out Savage Race and is the perfect way for beginners to break into OCR racing.
- Savage Race Blitz: 3-4 miles, 15-20 obstacles
- Savage Race: 5-7 miles, 27+ obstacles
Spartan Race Obstacles
One of the biggest obstacles at most Spartan Races is the terrain itself. Technical trails and plenty of elevation are usually staples at Spartan Races all across the world. Be sure to check out our Spartan Race obstacle list for a complete breakdown.
- Obstacles must be completed alone
- 30 burpee penalty for failing obstacle after one try
- Landscape (hills, terrain, etc.) often biggest obstacle
- Spear throw and fire jump obstacles only consistent obstacles at every event
Savage Race Obstacles
The biggest difference in Savage Race vs Spartan Race is that Savage Race allows competitors to try obstacles as many times as they way (provided they stay within the race cut-off time limit). While the landscape always plays a part, especially at events like Savage Race Ohio where the race takes place on a ski mountain, the obstacles have a more “man-made” feel. You also tend to see more rigs, slides, and grip-focused obstacles as opposed to Spartan Race.
- Rig obstacles include Twirly Bird, Wheel World, and Sawtooth
- All obstacles feature “retry” lanes for failed completion
Spartan Race Costs
Whether you’re looking at Spartan Race vs Savage Race, you aren’t likely to find a cheap entry ticket. Many complaints around Spartan Race deal with the associated costs that go along with the price of the race ticket, like spectator costs, mandatory insurance, and steep parking fees.
- Sprint: $79-$109 open, $89-$119 elite (+ taxes and fees)
- Super: $109-$139 open, $119-$139 elite (+ taxes and fees)
- Beast: $129-$159 open, $139-$189 elite (+ taxes and fees)
- Ultra Beast: $160-$200 open, $175-$235 elite (+ taxes and fees)
- Spectator cost: $20-$25
- Mandatory Insurance: $14
- Parking cost: $10-$20
Savage Race Costs
While not cheap, Savage Race does tend to run a little cheaper than Spartan Race, and they offer a sliding scale of pricing based on how early you sign up (earlier you sign up, the cheaper the ticket). Spectator passes and the kids version also tend to be cheaper with Savage Race vs Spartan Race.
- Savage Race: $85-$129 (+ taxes and fees)
- Savage Race Pro: $129-$155 (+ taxes and fees)
- Savage Race JR: $35 + taxes and fees)
- Savage Race Blitz: $75-89 (+ taxes and fees)
- Spectator cost: $18.50
- Mandatory Insurance: $15
- Parking cost: $10-$20
In the great debate between Spartan Race vs Savage Race, the growing feeling among most OCR racers is that Savage Race is the better event. Not only does Savage Race feature better pre-race and post-race parties, but the spectators have better access to obstacle viewing. Pricing is better, and the events are more fun, while still providing competitive racers all the challenges they can handle. Purists might appreciate the man-vs-nature grittiness of Spartan Race or the visibility of top pros at signature events, but in a sport that is supposed to be challenging and fun, Savage Race is the go-to race series for beginners and top-level athletes as well.